Great book. Quick read, and you learn about about psychology that you can apply to life or business.
A few notes: - All about first impressions. First iGreat book. Quick read, and you learn about about psychology that you can apply to life or business.
A few notes: - All about first impressions. First impressions can sway our opinion of something for years to come regardless of subsequent performance. - Labels matter. If you label someone as a higher performer, top of class, leader, having command potential, etc - it will translate into them actually having it. My high school motto was Principes Non Homines (leaders not men) - now I know why they thought that would work. - When we brand or label people they take on the characteristics of the diagnosis. - People are easily swayed when other people they deal with are decent or nice or fair to them. You enjoy a restaurant 10 times more if the waiter is really nice, regardless of the food (the product). Same goes for any service or business relationship. - Heightened adrenaline levels lead to higher levels of romantic interest - We have "two engines" running in our brain that don't operate simultaneously. So we usually approach things from either an altruistic perspective or a self-interested one. Money (self-interest) is not always the best motivator - sometimes pride (in your country, your city, what you do) will inspire people much more. ...more
I found this book on a recommendation from a good friend, and if it wasn't for that I might have put it down right away, because the tone is very markI found this book on a recommendation from a good friend, and if it wasn't for that I might have put it down right away, because the tone is very markety, and the author makes a lot of big claims with little substance.
That being said, the author must be a smart guy because there is a lot of good stuff in this book.
Big Takeaways 1. Most of us have the idea that we are supposed to work until we are 60, then retire and live the good life. Tim does a great job pointing out how backwards that idea is, and gives lots of suggestions for how to change your life to accommodate. He calls those who have done so the "New Rich", as they are rich in life - which is not related to being rich in dollars. 2. Take 'mini-retirements' throughout your life instead of planning to retire at the end of your life (which I probably wouldn't do anyways). This means every 5 years take a year off to go on a big adventure. Tim's point is you don't need to be rich to do this, and gives a lot of advice on how to go about it. I don't think he'll convince too many people, but it does sound like he's starting to have a following. 3. Be a business owner - not a business runner. One gives you lots of free time - the other consumes your life (which I can currently attest to :) 4. Time is your most valuable asset. Tim gives a lot of good tips for time management - which aren't unique, but every time you read them helps you. The ones that stuck out for me were: - only check email 3 times a day at set intervals - outsource everything you can to 3rd parties (like a virtual concierge in India who works for $5/hr) - batch activities like paying bills for max efficiency - give employees autonomous rules/guidelines - avoid meetings whenever possible - use emails instead (works wonders) 5. Try to start businesses that can be completely outsourced after you've set them up, so they run on auto-pilot. The author did it with a nutrient company - I'm dubious on this one though. 6. 80/20 rule. 80% of your revenue probably comes from 20% of your customers. You can save a lot of time and make more money by focusing where it matters - on the 20%. This applies to most things in life, and although I've read it before it was a good refresher. 7. Reach out to important people. Don't be afraid to reach out to important/famous people for advice. They are often more accessible than you think. Tim had good tips for this - like always uses phone's and not emails. 8. Avoid excessive information: too much information input can overload you, so avoid reading news on subjects that don't relate to what you do. If something important happens in the world you will hear about it - or its good conversation when you meet with a friend ("whats new in the world?") ...more
Wow. Amazing story, and well told - kept me up late at night! Louie Zamperini truly went through hell and came back - and it's inspiring to read a stoWow. Amazing story, and well told - kept me up late at night! Louie Zamperini truly went through hell and came back - and it's inspiring to read a story of such willpower and determination. It was also interesting to me to learn more about Japan and their role in the war.
One big takeaway was just how cheap human life is in war. I think there was some stat about how 5/6 of the US airmen that died did so from accidents - that is simply staggering.
I love WWII stories, but most of the ones I've seen and read have focused on Germany, so I really didn't know much about how Japan had treated their POW's. It was pretty eye opening to read the stats about how they pretty much massacred hundreds of thousands of POW's. And of couse, as the story details, they also did not follow Geneva Conventions and pretty much treated POW's as slaves.
One of my favorite points the author made is best illustrated by this quote about Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. This is a fundamental truth of humanity that the author really drew out well - if you take a persons dignity away you take everything away. I loved all the stories of POW's being defiant; stealing food, supplies, playing jokes, etc. The little bits of defiance were enough to let them take back their dignity, and I think thats what makes them so compelling; because while we haven't all been POW's, we can relate to that basic need.
A very interesting book about John Boyd, who was a crack fighter pilot, and then later military strategist and reformer. Boyd flew as an instructor inA very interesting book about John Boyd, who was a crack fighter pilot, and then later military strategist and reformer. Boyd flew as an instructor in the real life version of Top Gun, and beat everyone in 40 seconds or less. But later in his life he really studied military strategy, and this is where the interesting parts of this book are.
Boyd was literally the designer of the F-15, and a theory of maneuvering called Energy-Manueverability (E-M), which mathematically gave a chart for each aircraft that gave pilots an idea of the ideal speeds and altitudes they could use to pull off various turns and tactics.
One interesting thing I noted was that throughout his career, like everyone else in the military, Boyd was getting reviewed by his superiors, called ER's. It was interesting to hear, and relevant to business, how you had to "read through the lines" and how even a positive sounding ER could be a career-killer if the person wasn't recommended for promotion. Reading this has definitely made me think twice every time I've read (or written) recommendations for people.
Another Boyd tidbit I liked was when fighting bureaucratic battles in the Pentagon, he had a mantra to "use the other persons information against him". Starting with the other persons argument and data, and working backwards, you can make pretty compelling arguments.
Perhaps the biggest idea Boyd came up with is what is called the OODA loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. A key quote defining the OODA loop:
"Boyd said the strategies and bloodbaths of World War 1 were the natural consequence of both the vo Clausewitzian battle philosophy and the inability of generals to adapt new tactics to nineteenth-century technology: line abreast, mass against mass, and linear defenses against machine guns and quick-firing artillery. The bankrupt nature of that doctrine was demonstrated on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, which the British suffered sixty thousand casualties. After more than three years of the meat-grinding form of war, the Germans began engagements with a brief artillery barrage with smoke and gas obscuring their intentions, then sent in a special infantry teams. These small groups looked for gaps in the defense and advanced along many paths. They did not hit strong points but instead went around them, pressing on, always going forward and not worrying about their flanks. They were like water going downhill, bypassing obstacles, always moving, proving, and then, when they found an opening, pouring through, pressing deeper and deeper."
Getting your lieutenants to the point where they can do this kind of infiltration successfully requires great communication and men who can think fast on their feet. In other words, you had to enable every leader to be able to follow the OODA loop, and just arm them with the overal goals, and trust them to make their own decisions. Very different from previous military structures, where "the need to know" remained at the top.
Why is this empowerment valuable? Because:
"The key thing to understand about Boyd's version is the not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such fashion as to get inside the mind and the decision cycle of the adversary. This means the adversary is dealing with out-dated or irrelevant information and thus becomes confused and disoriented and can't function."
This makes sense. You can almost picture the commanders of old, who used to have to get on the phone with their boss in order make any decision. "Take the bridge, blow it up, or wait?". Hours and days could be spent waiting around for generals to make up their minds. This form of maneuver warfare is what the Germans used in WWII - they called it blitzkrieg - and it's what we used in Iraq the first time.
In business we have a word for the above - micromanagement. In a sense, it sounds like empowering business leaders and their lieutenants to have an effective OODA loop is what will let a business move faster and win marketshare. I bet somebody has written a book about that - I will have to look....more
A hilarious romp through the known and unknown universe that exposes how ridiculous much of US copyright law is. Written by the founder of Rhapsody, wA hilarious romp through the known and unknown universe that exposes how ridiculous much of US copyright law is. Written by the founder of Rhapsody, who knows a thing or two about music and the copyright surrounding it. What I didn't expect from a book by an entrepreneur is a funny book - and this book is not bad. It is being compared to Hitchhikers Guide, which nothing can approach, but its not bad. My only gripe would be there are a ton of footnotes that attempt to extend the humor and most of them didn't work for me.
The basic premise of the book is brilliant; that aliens have been listening to - and thus pirating - our music since 1977, without our knowledge. Because US copyright law states that a single case of intentional copyright violation can be fined $150,000 - this means the entire universe is many times over in debt to humanity.
It's pretty ridiculous that the music industry got such a big fine to be passed. I think one of my favorite parts of the book was learning about the law firm that Nick Carter works for, and seeing a little under the hood of how they operate.
That phrase was buried in my mind somewhere. It was familiar, yet I knew not how nor who this Livingstone person was. This"Dr Livingstone, I presume!"
That phrase was buried in my mind somewhere. It was familiar, yet I knew not how nor who this Livingstone person was. This book explained it, and was very entertaining in the process. Highly recommended if you ever travel to East Africa.
A friend recently wrote an interesting piece about how the types of creative people that rise to be famous have changed over the years. Livingstone was an explorer in the mid-1800's, and was a Michael Jordan of England. He explored much of Africa, often being the only white man in the expedition. He abhorred slavery, which was then rampant, and fought against it. His quest was to find the source of the Nile river, which evidently was a big thing back then (today we just keep looking for 'dark matter' and other such stuff).
But the most interesting part of the book to me was that the reason we know that famous phrase, is that its an early example of newspaper sensationalism. The New York Observer paid a reporter (Stanley) to take ridiculously large and expensive expedition into the middle of Africa that lasted for years, just to be able to have the exclusive on the story. But it was worth it: millions of Americans were entertained for years by the articles on Stanley's quest. And England wasn't happy its superstar was found by an American either, a fact not lost on the Observer....more
This is the best self help book any entrepreneur could ever read. Perhaps the only one they need to. Truly transformative. I have it on audio too andThis is the best self help book any entrepreneur could ever read. Perhaps the only one they need to. Truly transformative. I have it on audio too and listen to it at the gym often.
Napoleon Hill was tasked by Andrew Carnegie to write a book on what made a successful person succeed, and he spent 20 years researching and interviewing every great name of the day (Ford, Woolworth, Edison, etc), plus lots of people who failed (because you have to know what doesn't work too). This book is the result.
It basically hammers home a single point, over and over again. Success comes from knowing what you want to achieve and having a burning desire to achieve it.
My wife suggested I read this book, and I resisted for a while as my impression of it somehow was "chick lit". I'm glad she finally convinced me, becaMy wife suggested I read this book, and I resisted for a while as my impression of it somehow was "chick lit". I'm glad she finally convinced me, because it was fun and I couldn't put it down after I got ~20% in.
Bernadette moved to Seattle from LA, abandons her career as an architect to have kids, hates Seattle, and basically loses it over the course of the book. The book was fun and written a light, humorous tone - from making fun of Seattle and Microsoft, the obsession of parents and how serious they take themselves (I loved how she called the other parents "gnats"), to how she hires a virtual assistant in India.
But the most fun part of the book is just how wacky Bernadette is. You really do have to make life fun - it won't do it for you.
Great story of the US Ambassador to Germany and his experience during the build-up of ww2 from 1933 - 1937. Nothing new or exciting really revealed, aGreat story of the US Ambassador to Germany and his experience during the build-up of ww2 from 1933 - 1937. Nothing new or exciting really revealed, and I'm sure there are many other accounts of the buildup to ww2 out there, but this one told it from the perspective of mostly the Ambassador, Dodd, and his daughter, Martha. The story was engaging and well-written, and thus interesting. I think the ending fell pretty flat - I was hoping for more.
Reading about the Nazis one is of course always appalled at how they got to be in power and commit such atrocities, and this book did provide some clues. Hitler seemed primarily willing to tell people what they needed and wanted to hear, even if it wasn't the truth - and he was a great storyteller. He also used fear as a primary weapon, as there were many in Germany not behind him - but they were too afraid to make a stand or speak up.
I suppose the climax of the book was the Night of the Long Knives, where Hitler arrested and executed all of his major opponents, clearing the way for his absolute grip on the nation. He ruthlessly murdered an estimated 77 to several hundred people (the count was never really known) and played it off as putting down a rebellion, which much of the world bought for many years.
I think one of the more interesting pieces of the book was watching Dodd (and Martha) go from thinking the Nazis were good for Germany, to realizing how terrible they were and hoping for them to be overthrown. It was a slow gradual process, and one that I'm sure was not immediately obvious to anyone. In the end, I think the book is aptly named....more